0516-20 NY Times Crossword 16 May 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Tracy Gray & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 13m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Group featured on many “Sesame Street” episodes : ABCS

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

18 Home for a Hogarth or a Constable, with “the” : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

25 M.L.B.’s oldest continuously operating franchise, established as the Boston Red Stockings in 1871 : BRAVES

The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball’s World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

32 “___ Ordinary Man” (“My Fair Lady” tune) : I’M AN

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

33 Binary code snippets : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

34 Scott of “See Dad Run” : BAIO

Scott Baio is the actor who played Chachi Arcola in the great sitcom “Happy Days” and in the not-so-great spin-off “Joanie Loves Chachi”. Baio also played the title role in a later sitcom called “Charles in Charge”. Earlier in his career, he played another title role, in the 1976 movie “Bugsy Malone”, appearing opposite a young Jodie Foster.

“See Dad Run” is a Nick at Nite sitcom starring Scott Baio. It’s about a couple who are soap opera actors. The husband, who plays a Dad in the soap opera, opts to become a stay-at-home Dad so that his wife’s career can blossom. He finds that playing a Dad in real life is not as easy as it looks on TV.

36 They’re broken at marathons : TAPES

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. That course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

37 Unit of magnetic flux : WEBER

In the world of physics, the weber is the unit of magnetic flux. The unit is named for the German physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber who was the co-inventor of the electromagnetic telegraph.

38 Doesn’t travel, say : DRIBBLES

That would be basketball.

40 Bacchanalian beasts : SATYRS

The satyrs of Greek mythology came with a very high sex drive. They are the “rude” male subjects drawn on the side of old Greek vases. The nubile maidens known as nymphs were often an object of attention for the satyrs.

A bacchanalia is a drunken spree. The term “bacchanalia” derives from the ancient Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, the god of winemaking.

41 Congresswoman who once served in the U.S. cabinet : SHALALA

Donna Shalala was a Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration. Shalala was the first Arab-American to serve in a cabinet position. She was named head of the Clinton Foundation in 2015, and was elected to the US House, representing a district in Florida, in 2018.

42 Item for a croupier : RAKE

A croupier is someone who conducts a game at a gambling table. In the world of gaming, the original croupier was someone who stood behind a gambler, holding reserves of cash for the person in a game. Before that, “croupier” was someone who rode behind the main rider on a horse. “Croup” was a Germanic word for “rump”. So, a croupier used to be a “second”, as it were.

43 Chain with a loaf of bread in its logo : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

44 Starburst? : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

45 Engine speed inits. : RPM

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

48 Mount near Olympus : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

55 Just barely reacts : BATS AN EYE

At least as far back as the 1800s, the term “batting” was used in falconry to describe the fluttering of a hawk’s wings while on a perch or a fist, as if the bird intended to fly away. The usage of “batting” extended to the fluttering of a human’s eyelids, giving us the expressions “batting an eye” and “batting an eyelid”.

Down

1 ___ pants : CAMO

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

2 Text notification before a time stamp : READ

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

4 Cab alternative : ZIN

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

7 It’s down in the mouth : UVULA

The uvula is that conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

11 Collectible from what’s been called the world’s first internet sensation : BEANIE BABY

There were originally just nine Beanie Babies when Ty Warner introduced the stuffed animal in 1993. In the late nineties the toy became a real fad, largely due to innovative marketing techniques. For example, there was no mass marketing with constant TV ads, and the production volume was limited pushing the line into the realm of collectibles. Beanie Baby models were also “retired” on a regular basis, fueling a “must have” behavior in the market.

27 It’s east of the Horn of Africa : ARABIAN SEA

The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran. It is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

30 Like go-getters : TYPE A

The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

33 Burns’s “The Soldier’s Return” and others : BALLADS

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

34 “La Belle et la ___” (French fairy tale) : BETE

“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

36 Bit of a lift : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

37 Fictional land in the highest-grossing film of 2018 : WAKANDA

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

39 Like one’s eyes after a poor night’s sleep : BLEARY

To blear is to dim the vision, usually with watery eyes.

42 Substitute teacher? : ROGET

The first person to use the term “thesaurus” to mean a “collection of words arranged according to sense” was Roget in 1852, when he used it for the title of his most famous work. Up to that point in time, a thesaurus was basically an encyclopedia. Before being used with reference to books, a thesaurus was a storehouse or treasury, coming from the Latin “thesaurus” meaning “treasury, treasure”.

44 Where many stop and smell the rosés : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally, I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

46 They’re low on the food chain : PREY

A food chain is a series of organisms, the smallest of which gets eaten by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc. Food chains are considered part of a food web.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Barely keeping up with things, say : CRAZY BUSY
10 Group featured on many “Sesame Street” episodes : ABCS
14 Look down on something? : AERIAL VIEW
16 Suckling site : TEAT
17 Starter’s follower : MAIN COURSE
18 Home for a Hogarth or a Constable, with “the” : TATE
19 Word with twenty- or thirty- : ODD
20 Robust : HALE
21 Medium state : TRANCE
23 Name that’s an anagram of both 16- and 18-Across : ETTA
24 Key : CRUCIAL
25 M.L.B.’s oldest continuously operating franchise, established as the Boston Red Stockings in 1871 : BRAVES
28 One watching the kids? : GOATHERD
29 Drew : LURED
30 Causes of puckering : TANGS
31 “My man!” : BRO!
32 “___ Ordinary Man” (“My Fair Lady” tune) : I’M AN
33 Binary code snippets : BYTES
34 Scott of “See Dad Run” : BAIO
35 Aristocrat, in British slang : NOB
36 They’re broken at marathons : TAPES
37 Unit of magnetic flux : WEBER
38 Doesn’t travel, say : DRIBBLES
40 Bacchanalian beasts : SATYRS
41 Congresswoman who once served in the U.S. cabinet : SHALALA
42 Item for a croupier : RAKE
43 Chain with a loaf of bread in its logo : PANERA
44 Starburst? : NOVA
45 Engine speed inits. : RPM
48 Mount near Olympus : OSSA
49 Means of devastation on “Game of Thrones” : DRAGONFIRE
52 Level : TIER
53 Fantabulous : SUPER-DUPER
54 One week, for many beach house rentals : STAY
55 Just barely reacts : BATS AN EYE

Down

1 ___ pants : CAMO
2 Text notification before a time stamp : READ
3 Like much of Arizona : ARID
4 Cab alternative : ZIN
5 Went cruising, say : YACHTED
6 Puffs up : BLOATS
7 It’s down in the mouth : UVULA
8 “Your majesty” : SIRE
9 Confirmation : YES
10 Online action symbolized by a paper clip : ATTACH
11 Collectible from what’s been called the world’s first internet sensation : BEANIE BABY
12 Claw-proof crate : CAT CARRIER
13 Hefty barriers to entry : STEEL DOORS
15 Spineless sorts, metaphorically : WET RAGS
22 Hazards for rural travel : RUTS
23 Level : EVEN
24 Traffic directors : CONES
25 Shortcomings : BLIND SPOTS
26 “I heard …” : RUMOR HAS IT …
27 It’s east of the Horn of Africa : ARABIAN SEA
28 Flight board column : GATES
30 Like go-getters : TYPE A
33 Burns’s “The Soldier’s Return” and others : BALLADS
34 “La Belle et la ___” (French fairy tale) : BETE
36 Bit of a lift : T-BAR
37 Fictional land in the highest-grossing film of 2018 : WAKANDA
39 Like one’s eyes after a poor night’s sleep : BLEARY
40 Doesn’t inhale, say : SAVORS
42 Substitute teacher? : ROGET
44 Where many stop and smell the rosés : NAPA
45 Completely ready : RIPE
46 They’re low on the food chain : PREY
47 No more than : MERE
50 Chafe : RUB
51 Goal of a diversion : FUN

18 thoughts on “0516-20 NY Times Crossword 16 May 20, Saturday”

  1. 12:08, no errors. The triple anagram in the “across” entries near the top of this puzzle got me off to a good start. Most enjoyable.

  2. Finished with no errors on a Saturday. Woo hoo. 39:47 but it was a Jeff Chen so I’m OK with that. I had a real tough time getting started. Finished off in the NW corner.

  3. 39:31. Ouch. A difficult puzzle I made even more difficult. Always a fan of Jeff Chen puzzles despite all of the broken windows in my house that say otherwise….

    Biggest time vampire was putting “gauss” before WEBER. A WEBER is a unit of magnetic flux. A gauss is a unit of magnetic flux density…..which also is what a “tesla” measures. All three of those answers have 5 letters. I think the physics gods and crossword gods conspired to mix me up today.

    Needless to say, backing out of “gauss”, finally realizing my mistake and getting to WEBER took me a while.

    Best –

  4. 2 errors. 19A I had OLD , so 2D was REAL.. READ was obvious after I reread it.. Crapola…

    Quick puzzle though.. Mostly predictable..

    1. @Anonymous … I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, but the verb “to yacht” is in the dictionary and means “to sail, voyage, or race in a yacht”. (Maybe not something us 99-percenters do, but it exists and it’s fair game for use in a puzzle … 😜.)

  5. Paused for a bit when I noticed that Jeff Chen was involved, then proceeded to dig in. Had to scatter-gun a while, then got some traction and finished clean. I remembered WEBER so the “necessary” french word (BETE) filled itself. I enjoyed some of the clues and didn’t care for some others. But, again, Jeff Chen.

  6. 18:36, no errors. Being long removed from physics classes, needed 4 letters before WEBER dawned on me. Would have done better if the clue had been ‘Barbeque’. Ran down a few rabbit holes: 7D DELTA before UVULA; 25A BOSTON before BRAVES; 28A SHEPHERD before GOATHERD.

  7. 45:20 NO ERRORS ON A JEFF CHEN PUZZLE….I repeat I finished a Jeff Chen puzzle…I finished a Jeff Chen puzzle and guess what? I finished a Jeff Chen puzzle.
    Stay safe y’all
    Guess what I did today.

  8. A very challenging puzzle. My three crucial errors early on were séance instead of trance, special instead of crucial and Shepherd instead of goat herd. This cost me a lot of time. 46 minutes with one error having never heard of Wakanda and beingIgnorant as to units of magnetic flux.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.